Recalculating……that is what we are about to experience exactly one month from today. As any RVer or driver can relate, Recalculating is the last thing you ever want to see on your GPS, but we are actually looking forward to the experience of recalculating our “normal”.
You see, our lives are about to be turned upside down and we can’t wait! The next few months we are about to experience the biggest transition that we have gone through in over 30 years! But as they say in the Coast Guard, “Semper Paratus” or Always Ready and boy are we ever ready!
On 1 November 2017, Tex will retire from the U.S. Coast Guard with over 30 years of service, but with his accrued leave and permissive time off, his last day of work and retirement ceremony is June 20th, one month from today! We are about to leave the only life we have known and set out on our next journey together. It is terrifying and yet exhilarating!
The past 31 years have passed in a whirlwind. It seems just like yesterday that we met while attending Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, OK. It was 1985 and we were so young but ready to take on the world. We were engaged within a month and married 8 months later.
Everyone we knew, both family and friends, told us we would never make it, that we were too young and that we were making a big mistake. Funny thing is, all those people that said that are now divorced and we have now been happily married almost 31 years. We have two beautiful daughters and three grandsons and I can enthusiastically say that we are as happy as ever!
A year after we were married, we were blessed with our first daughter, Megan. Shortly thereafter, in October 1987, Tex enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and we began our new military lifestyle. Talk about recalculating! Two moves and 4 years later, we were blessed with our second daughter, Amanda.
For the past 30 years the Coast Guard has sent us to many amazing places including St. Louis, MO; Washington, D.C.; Charleston, SC; St. Petersburg, FL; Galveston, TX; Topeka, KS; Petaluma, CA; Oklahoma City, OK; and finally Seattle, WA. We have experienced so many amazing things and also experienced some very sad times. I will post about all of those at another time.
But back to our recalculating adventure: When we moved to OKC, we bought a brand new house there and had planned to stay upon retirement. But life has a way of changing things and our plans slowly morphed into a whole new world. You see, we bought a fifth wheel RV and began taking long weekends and vacations in the RV and became hooked on the travel. A few years later, we upgraded from a fifth wheel to a Newmar Ventana 37’ motorhome.
As we continued to RV on vacations, we began to rethink our plans of living in OKC post-retirement. We decided that we wanted to travel full time in our motorhome and see this great country that Tex has served all these years. During this process of rethinking our plans, the Coast Guard decided that we would not be allowed to stay in OKC for his last three years before retirement. This meant orders and this time to Seattle, WA.
So, with orders in hand, we had a big decision to make and only a few months to complete the plans. Do we keep our house and rent it while we are in Seattle and move back to OKC upon retirement OR do we keep the house and keep it rented and travel in the RV full time upon retirement, OR do we sell the house and travel full time in the RV after retirement with no home base?
As I said, we decided that instead of the normal retirement in a stick and brick house, we wanted to travel and see the country. We didn’t want the added expense and worry of owning and renting a house when we would never be around to take care of it and we didn’t want to be tied down to any one place anyway. Since we didn’t have time to sell everything that we owned as well as the house and because the housing market was still in a downward spiral, we decided to rent it to Amanda and her husband while we were in Seattle with the knowledge that we would sell it before we retired.
Since we knew we were going to travel full time in a few short years anyway, we decided to start immediately and live in our motorhome during our last duty station in Seattle. It allowed us to get a feel for full time living and has been a wonderful learning experience.
Now, three years later, here we are. Our house has sold as well as all of our belongings, Amanda and her husband live in OKC and own their own house and have a young son and Megan and her husband and two sons live in Dillingham, Alaska. Tex’s terminal leave starts in a few short weeks and we are about to recalculate and make the biggest change of our lives. We roll out of Seattle on June 25th!
As I stated earlier, 30 years seemed to slowly pass by but in reality, it happened in the blink of an eye. Now we are about to make a huge transition from military life to the civilian life. As much as we have loved the Coast Guard, we are ready (Semper Paratus!) to move forward and turn it over to the next generation. We are ready to recalculate our future and travel in our brand new Newmar Ventana 41’ motorhome and have no worries except of where we want to go next.
Our current plans are to go back to OKC when we leave Seattle so Tex can apply for VA benefits. This will take about 3-4 months. We will be in New Mexico in September to have solar added to the roof of the RV. We will then travel around the SW a bit and end up in Gold Canyon, AZ, just east of Phoenix for the winter. This is where we will spend every winter as we have a yearly lease at an RV park there. That will enable us to leave our flat bed trailer on the lot, and have a small shed to store the RZR in when we don’t want to take it with us and also provide us a place to stay if we ever want to stop for a while. We have several friends that stay there as well, so we are really looking forward to our winters in Arizona.
As you can see, “recalculating” doesn’t have to mean something bad. It can mean that you are about to experience the next grand adventure! We are Always Ready and can’t wait to get out on the open road! June 25th can’t come soon enough!